J5ortl)toest Editorial-Opinion Page T/ie Public Interest Is The First Concern O/ This Newspaper 4 Â· WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1974 Confessions Of A Mafia Lieutenant Sparks Has A Good Idea Rep. Thomas E. Sparks oÂ£ Fordyce, one : of the original sponsors of a bill creating the state Public Building Authority, says he intends to file suit this week to stop the PBA's multi-million dollar Capitol Mall building project. The PBA is hoping to let bids on initial phases of its project later this month. Rep. Sparks, who has been almost as critical of the PBA plan for additional state office buildings as Fayetteville's Sen. Morriss Henry, says he will file a taxpayers suit challenging the constitutionality of the creating legislation. "We do not feel that the act was given proper trial by fire by the Legislature before it was passed," says Sparks. "That's what we want the courts to do ... We want to give the bill the airing it didn't get in the Legislature." The Fordyce lawmaker's complaints are essentially the same as those voiced by Sen. Henry. He objects to changing the character of the state Capitol grounds. He doesn't believe blanket authority should be granted to a seven-member authority. He doesn't think the Legislature envisioned authorizing funds with which the PBA could hire a public relations firm to help "sell" its projects to the public and stale government. He doesn't like the open-ended nature of the present proposal, nor the enormous potential cost, either. Most of all, though, the project is based on a steadily ballooning number of state employees, he says, and he is very much of the Art Buchwald opinion that the state ought to be thinking of ways to cut back, or at least stabilize the number of staffers rather than encouraging their multiplication with a vast new complex of offices. Proponents of the project, including Gov. Dale Bumpers, contend that the project is good business, because the state will need the office space in 30 years when the project payoff will be complete. Meanwhile, of course, state agencies using the new facilities will be paying its cost in rent, which so the argument goes, is like getting the whole project free. There is, however, as some wise man has said, no such thing as a free lunch. The nub of Rep. Sparks' complaint is based less on need, or lack of it, than on the mechanics of the project whereby a potential Â§180 million building is approved without so much as an airing by public or legislative debate. In view of the immensity of the project and the long term of its commitment, we believe a court review is to be welcomed. It will buy a clearer understanding of the 1073 bill's portent, for one thing, and it moves contract-letting time closer to the next General Assembly session, for another. Prudence -- it seems to us -- in the light of today's national economy suggests, among other things, that, the state might try to make do with a $50 million expansion project rather than something twice that expensive, or more. Will 10 Angels Step Forward? By ART BUCHWALD WASHINGTON -- When Pres- idenl Ford p a r d o n e d Richard Nixon he s a i d in his speech, "I do believe the buck slops here and that I cannot rely on public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might, and that if I am wrong 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference..." Gabrield came on the Cloud 9 drill field, tilew his horn, and all the angels lined up in close order formation at attention. "All right," he barked, "I want 10 volunteers front and center." No one moved. "Aw. c'mon guys. This is a very important mission. It's going lo bring you down to earth." Still no one slepped forward. Gabriel was becoming angry. "If no one volunteers, I'ni going to pick 10 of you willy-nilly from the group." "What do we have to do?" one of Ihe angels in the back row asked. "I want 10 angels lo go down to Washington. D.C." "YOU MUST be crazy, Gabriel. An angel can get killed there." "I know it's dangerous. That's why we're offering everyone hazard pay. But this is a very important job, and the future of the United Slates o[ America depends on it." "What's the mission?" the angel asked. "We want 10 of you to go to the White House and swear that Gerry Ford did the right thing when he pardoned former President Nixon," Gabriel replied. "Are you out of your blinkin' mind?" an angel cried. "Why would we want to swear to something like that?." Gabriel said, "Mr. Ford needs all the support he can get. This pardon thing has him in a box, and if he could get 10 angels to support h i m- it might turn the country around." An angel said. "Anyone lhat gets involved in that can of beans has to be bonkers." Gabriel protesled, "But we have lo show mercy. Surely one of the many thousands of you up here, there a r e 10 angels willing to swear that Gerry Ford's decision was the right one." S o m e o n e said, "Gabriel, there's a long-distance call for you. "I'll do it," a deep voice said on the phone. GABRIEL WENT white. "I'm sorry. Lucifer. I don't think you'd be right for this mission. But I appreciate your volunteering." "I know more aTlout this thing than anyone else," Lucifer said. "We're well aware of that. But there is a certain credibility problem. There are some people who think the Watergate thing was your idea." "You're always putting me down, Gabriel. You said you wanted 10 angels to swear Mr. Ford was right. Well, I'm offering my services, and I don't even want ha7ard pay." "I'm sorry, Lucifer. The Boss wants you to keep away from Mr. Ford. Ever since you erased the 18'A minutes of tape, He thinks it best that you stay out of the White House." Lucifer said in disgust, "Boy, you make one mistake around here and no one lets you forget it." (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times Billy Graham's Answer What Others Say I'm the only child left at home, and I'm trying to be a Christian. Neither of my parents are. We hardly do any- t h i n g together except constant bickering. They give me anything I want materially, but what I want most is harmony. I know I'm supposed to respect my parents, but it's hard! What should 1 do? S.J. The obligation lo honor one's parents is nol a custom of sociely nor just a commendable moral principle. II is an express command of God. In the Ten Commandments, it comes at the head of our duties towards others ( E x o d u s 20:12). Furthermore, it is essentially a feeling inside that is deep, real and habitual. The child's respect for the parents is not dependent even on t h e i r merits or demerits; although any sensible parent, knowing the awesome duties of parenthood, would want to display conduct worthy of lhat honor. In an old slory entitled : :Rabert Falconer," the father is a reprobate scamp. Yet the son, persistently honoring his fatherhood, wins him back at length lo respectability. That can happen with you. "Bickering" says the dictionary, is to contend in a rude and petty quarrel. Don't let yourself do that. The Christian is a peacemaker, and Galatians 5:22 says some of the f r u i t of the Spirit is patience and self- control. That's what you'll need for the years ahead. As for the hollering, pray God daily for Ihe ability to practice the suggestion of Proverbs 15:1, "A .soft answer turns away wrath." They'll Do It Every Tim SOONER'OK'lATsetrevefftf/cwc SAI.L /u^T^Tx (2) j^ /a f* /T^T^ COMPUTERIZED JUSTICE A Michigan Slate University computer. with the programming help of Professor Harold Spaeth, has correctly predicted 33 out of 34 Supreme Court decisions in the last two yeara. Its only miss was Ihe court's ruling this year against class action suits. The accuracy, according to the professor, has prompted suggestions that the computer replace the court. Proponenls of this 1984 scheme argue that the computer would save time, trouble and expense. Spaeth, quoted in a dispatch from East Lansing. Mich., docs not specify who supports computerized .jus- lice, but is a little frightening that such a proposal would even be made. The day judges and justices, whatever their h u m a n failings, give way to the machines is Ihe day sociely comes apart. Computers may work wonders but they lack man's creative powers and sense of compassion, his ability lo adjust. When it comes to being judged, we'll take our chances before a human being every time. - Ashoville, N.C. DISAPPOINTED Politicians were slightly disappointed at the turnout of only 2.000 at Galivants Ferry Democratic slump speaking recently. In spite of the fact lhat a chicken bag was prepared, f r e e for nil, and a large number of candidates were on hand to speak, the crowd was much smaller than had been anticipated. Probably the fishing was too good down on the Pee Dee. --Dillon (S.C.) Herald PENNY WISE The shortage of pennies has moved some banks in the area to offer coin hoarders a 10 per cent premium when they exchange their penny collections for other denominations. Or, to misquote the old adage, 10 pennies saved is a penny earned. --Macon (Ga.) News By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON - We have obtained the confessions of a Mafia Lieutenant, with a memory as long as his police record. He' is Eugene Ayolte, who used to be known in the Detroit underworld, as "Johnny A." Now he is hiding under an assumed identity conferred upon him by the Justice Dept.' He has told us about his life in the Mafia, the sluulowy society lo which he had sworn loyally. It is a story of gangland lovciiests and hiuigouls, of bizarre crimes and corrupt police. It is also the story of murder, of men garroted with wire and encased in concrete. At least one victim, according to Johnny A, wound up in a Detroit freeway. Thereafter, Mafia men would say of a missing hood, with grisly humor, that "he's part of the freeway." Like the late Joe Valachi whose Mafia confessions made headlines in the 1960s, Ayoltc's revelations ring Iruc. Federal prosecutors vouch for his reliability. The Senate crime files and other records verify h ii s memory for names and details. Johnny A worked for the Detroit Mafia, a criminal empire lhat embraces every- t h i n g from bookies lo blackmail, narcotics to the numbers racket -- virtually every enterprise thai produces an illegal coin. A council of dons rules the multimillion-dollar e m p i r e The Washington Merry-Go-Round through might. They have no competition; serious rivals arc cither dead or intimidated. Now Ayolle is on the run from them. For the old crime lords would like to shut Ayolte up. But Ayolle is slill talking, lirst to the prosecutors and now lo us. lie remembers Anthony J. Zerilli; identified by the Jus- lice Depl. as a "Big Man" in the Mafia, was a swinger with the ritziest lovencst in town. The mob chief owned a posh restaurant with a small hidden office which opened on a luxurious suite, complete with two bedrooms, a bar, "beautiful carpel and furniture, colored lelephoncs, the works." B O T H BEDROOMS, a c cording to Johnny A, "had round beds, beautiful, and mirrors all around, even the ceiling. It looked like Tony Zerilli was a little weird..., liked lo watch himself with Ihe broads...From inside or outside, you couldn't even tell the place was there....Only the top (Mafia men) would be allowed in." Love and death sometimes went together. Ayolle lells of a Mafia punk, named Ubai "Roy" Calabresse, who made a mistake in recruiting a prostitute. He introduced the girl to drugs and then "put her out on the street." Unhappily for Calabresse. she was the daughter of a Mafia section leader. Two men grabbed Calabresse. "wired him up" -- the Mafia . term for garroling -- iiud left him ill tlie trunk of an abandoned car. As the f i n a l gesture, a pig was trussed mid strangled, and then delivered to one of Calabresse's hangouts. "This was a warning lo anyone who knew who killed Calabresse not to squeal," explained Johnny A. "I knew Roy. I used to drink with him....at the Falcon Street Show Bar. (But) you just don't question too much these things as i's not healthy." When a gambler disappeared after giving information lo the police, Ihey searched high and low for him. They even descended upon the fabulous farms of Mafia leaders like Angelo Meli. By Ayotte could have told them the place to look was a Detroit freeway, then under construction. The missing gambler had been mixed wilh the freeway cemcnl. One of Ayolle's criminal specialties was arson. Once, he contracted to burn a vacant building so the owner could collect fire, insurance. As 'an economy measure, he hired a cheap "torch man" named "Smokey" to set the blaze. Smokey came back from the conflagration in terrible shape, "wilh his hair burned half o f f , his eyelashes gone." Ayolle observed sourly thai Smokey's "partner set the match to burn 44 ... I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book." --Gerald R. Ford, September 8, 1974 State Of Affairs Congress Should Salvage The Tapes By CLAYTON FRITCHEY WASHINGTON - So far as the Nixon pardon is cuncverncd, the deed is done. It appears lo be irrevocable. But that need not be the case with respect to the other part of the Nixon-Ford understanding -- namely the disposition of the former President's tapes, files and other White House documents. So much attention has naturally been concentrated on the pardon controversy that little consideration has yet been given lo Ihe extremely important question centering on control of the Nixon tapes and papers, although there appear to be several ways of still salvaging the public interest in them. Under the terms President 'Ford worked out with his predecessor, the latter, unfortunately, will ultimately be permitted to destroy (he Watergate tapes that led to his downfall. Meanwhile, for the next three years, they are to be preserved for possible use in court cases arising out of the Watergate scandals, but during that period they .will be in the custody of Nixon at a facility near his San Clcmsnte home. Moreover. Nixon successfully stipulated that he would reserve the right, in responding to any subpoenas for the tapes or other documents, to assert presidential "privilege" in deciding whether lo surrender them or not. In protecting the public's rights, h o w m u c h better i t would have been at this point to have temporarily turner! over the tapes and other Watergate material to special prosecutor Leon Jaworski for a thorough scrutiny so that all possible evidence could be extracted. PUTTING ALL Ihis documentation in tho custody of Nixon himself will force Jaworski to seek subpoenas to obtain what he may need for further prosecutions. It is an intolerable handicap. Finally, the Ford While House accepted Nixon's claim that he is the owner of all the material in question, although this claim is based on precedent rather than law. There are three distinct ways of salvaging the public interest in this matter, Ihe first of which would be for Mr. Ford to revoke the agreement and, for the time being at least, transfer the material to the special prosecutor for safekeeping until its evidentiary usefullness has been exhausted. Since there is little chance of this happening, the next posisbility is a proposal Sen. Walter Mondale (D-Minn.) has made to Sen. Sam Ervin. (D- N.C.), who was c h a i r m a n of the Senate Watergate investigating committee. Sen. Ervin is also chairman of Ihe Senate's wide- ranging Government Operations Committee. In that capacity Mondale wants Ervin to "immediately issue a subpoena for all relevant Nixon tapes and documents to insure thai Ihey are preserved and lo guaranlee access to them by Congress." Sen. Ervin seems sympathetic, for he himself has said, "When a public officer, while drawing public salary makes official records paid for by (he taxpayers, those records in good conscience belong to the government." Sen. Mike Mansfield (D- Mont.), the majority leader, goes further. "T h o s e tapes," he says, "should be retained in the control of the federal government, and I would suggest lhat, except for those porions of the tapes dealing with national securiy, they all be published." AS A PRACTICAL mailer however, Ihe best chance of recovering the Nixon data is for Congress lo do what it should have done long, long ago -- pass a law specifically providing t h a t White House papers are not the personal property of retiring Presidents but belong to the nation. The Nixon-Ford agreement Ihe gasoline and it burned before Smokey could get pul." Next time, Ayollc hired a professional, known as "But' chey," she had enlisted rein- iiiinis of Detroit's old "Purple Gang" into a crack, Cleveland- based pyro team. They brought to Ihe jn "gunpowder, fuses, gas and a chemical so ns la leave no trnce....Thcy brought enough to use on a dozen joints." They burned down a building, another "insurance job," for ,111 owner Ayolle knew as "Singing Sam." "The place," recalled Ayotte w i h professional satisfaction, "was a total." Although Johnny A had now switched sides, he still chuckles over how Secret Service agents overlooked evidence right under their noses when they arrested Joe Yoppolo, a prominent T o l e d o gangster otherwise known as "Big Joe Yap," on counlciTeiling charges. Ayolle happened to Ire on ilia phone lo Yoppolo while Ihe feds were searching Ins premises. Afterwards, Big Joe Yap told him the agents missed a stolen $1.000 bond in plain v i e w on the china cupboard and a heisted, f u l l - l e n g t h sable coat in the front closet. "That sable stood out like a sore thumb," grinned Yopnolo, according to Ayotte. Like a character from an old Geroge Raft movie, Johnny A. told us his story -- an insider s eye view of H nationwide criminal conspiracy that drains billions of dollars a year f r o m . the public. ' . , ,, We'll publish another installment, in a future column. --United Feature Syndicate has aroused fresh interest in such legislation, particularly in bills already introduced by Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) and Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D-N.Y.), which would lay legal claim to all papers and other data flowing from the operation of the White House office. In the present climate on Capitol Hill, where there is broad disgust over the pardon and the disposition of the tapes, the chances of passing a bill patterned on the Bayh-Bingham proposals are better than Ihey have ever been before. The only reason various Presidents have been able to walk out of the White House with truckloads of papers is owing to a precedent set by George Washington. The first President, however, was not looking for any personal or pecuniary advantage. He took the papers with him because at the lime there was no place to leave them, the National Archives fhcn not being in existence. This is the right moment for Congress to set the matter straight once and for all. --(C) 1974, Los Angeles Times Bible Verse Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" Psalm 150:6 In this moment let us just praise the Lord and observe how through this gret medium of communication our nerds are met and our prayers are answered. Thank you Father for sending Jesus to die for us assuring us of abundant and eternal life. For sending the Holy Spirit to empower for service. For all the good things and even the Ihings we see as bad for us lhat you will use to our ultimate good. Amen. Power, People, Prices WASHINGTON (ERR) -Opening up the monthly electric bill these [lays win oe a little like pulling stuck toast out of a hot toaster with a fork -you're probably in for a shock. Electric utility rales in some areas have risen by as much as 40 per cent in little more than a year. And in stale afler slate, local utilities aye asking for even greater increases, blaming higher fuel cosls. crucial needs for new construction, record interest rales m borrowed money, and dwindling returns to company stockholders. "I think P irices will have to rise and the consumer is going to have to pay," says C. Edward Ulermohte Jr., chairman of Baltimore Gas Electric. "It is essential that these new rates be put into effect now so that the' financial stability and integrity of the company's credit standing can be maintained," argues Reeves Ritchie, president at Arkansas Power and Light. "In my opinion wo will have to have rate increases .-. every year for the next decade," predicts Gordon R. Corey of Chicago's Commonwealth Edison. Virginia Electric and Power Co., which serves norlhern Virginia, has asked for an emergency $127 million rate increase, which would boost Iho average home's summer bill from $41 to S55. An i r i d r : , y arialysl from Dean Witter Co. says Vepco is caught in "the- classic electric-utility squeeze." Â·Â·" It needs money to b u i l d more efficient facilities, but capital markets are the tightest in years. Profits are slipping, but only highly profitable companies can borrow money at reasonable interest,. Higher profits come from high rates, but resistance to rale increases is sliffei' t h a n ever. ALREADY STRAPPED by ; inflation and rising prices, consumers a"re indeed organizing o fight ulilily rale hikes, Citizens' groups have sprung up in many slates to argue before regulatory commissions. Slate utility regulators were called to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, where o p o f f i c i a l s from the T r e a s u r y Department, t h e Federal Power Commission and the Federal Energy Administration strongly urged them to allow more rate increases. But Richard Morgan, a spokesman for the Environmental Action Foundation's Utility Project, challenged the commissioners to examine closely some basic assumptions about electric utilities. He charged that utility rate structures discriminate against residential customers by setting lower rales for large industrial users who pay less Ihe more they use. He conlendecl that heavy utility advertising budgets boost consumption and lead to higher prices. He accused some utilities of computing their rales based on unfinished power plants and expected future expenses, ralhcr than existing facilities and actual expenditures. "The way to lower electricity rates is to reduce utility " expansion," Morgan said. IN THE ""FAST, utilities asking for emergency rate increases were often granted the requests on an interim basis, because public hearings and regulatory deliberations can lake months. But the initial rate decisions were seldom reversed Moreover, new tax provisions nave lowered the power industry's federal income lax pay- menls from about 13 per cent of revenues in 1956 to 2 f i per cent in 1873, with little of the savings passed on to customers. Many American consumers proved last winter t h a t they were willing to conserve electricity in a pinch, and they are probably willing to do so again But moat seem to believe that if they are going to be asked lo make sacrifices, they should be rewarded by lower electricity bills, nol higher ones.
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